With a full schedule and big plans, student body president Jackson Blackhurst has been preparing for this school year for months. Tasked with helping plan major school activities, Blackhurst rarely has a free moment, and he loves it.
“This is my biggest accomplishment,” Blackhurst said. “Being student body president is probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t do it for scholarships; it was all because I wanted to reach out to more people and change the high school for the better if I can.”
His goal as SBO president of reaching out to the students is evident in this year’s theme: Courage to stand alone, proud to stand together.
“We try and include people from all different groups in all of our activities so everyone gets included,” Blackhurst said.
Part of that goal is being achieved by the changes made by the SBOs to the Hawk of the Week contest.
“We wanted to recognize more students and more faculty members for what they do,” Blackhurst said. “This year we’re doing Hawk of the Week every week and we pick that students because they did something special.”
However, this isn’t the only change coming to NS courtesy of the SBOs.
“This year we’re also planning to do a Freedom Week in November,” said Blackhurst. “We do our fun days like hat day and pajama day and then also we’re going to do an election for the current US election to see who our school thinks should win.”
However, planning isn’t just fun and games, said Blackhurst. It’s also lots of planning and working through different perspectives.
“We’ve had times when we get frustrated with each other, but we all balance each other out because we have such different backgrounds,” Blackhurst said.
Blackhurst himself has a background with various extracurriculars and clubs, urging students to be as involved as possible during high school.
“Don’t be afraid to join clubs that your friends won’t join,” Blackhurst said. “Your high school experience isn’t about anyone else but you. Friends do make it better but we need to try our hardest to be involved in what we want to be involved in.”
Following his own advice, Blackhurst has made it a point to be as involved as possible. That record of involvement started with joining FBLA.
“[Former computer teacher Koby] Willis came up to me and told me about FBLA and what it was and I thought it was a cool idea,” Blackhurst said. “I’d go spend a couple days with friends, miss school, things an irresponsible freshman would say. But I went and I had fun and I learned a lot as well.”
Now, beginning his fourth and final year in FBLA, Blackhurst already has a number of achievements under his belt regarding the club.
Blackhurst has attended three national FBLA competitions in Nashville, Chicago, and Atlanta. His freshman year he placed second at state with Kylee Mitchell and Bryce Blackham in E-Business. As a sophomore he placed first at state with Kallie Anderson in mobile app design. Last year as a junior, Blackhurst placed fourth at state in graphic design with Kallie Anderson.
With the looming year of SBO responsibilities, Blackhurst plans to keep FBLA a big part of his life
“It really prepares me for the future especially where I want to go into things like technology and business,” Blackhurst said.
Hand-in-hand with the technology side of FBLA, Blackhurst was a member of Cybercorps his first three years of high school.
“I’m a nerd–I’ll just say that right now,” Blackhurst said. “I really like technology and I really like to explore computers. I love photography and taking senior portraits and night pictures.”
Blackhurst’s love for technology and gadgets is owed to one teacher.
“I’ve always been into technology since I was little. I’ve always messed around with laptops and phones,” Blackhurst said. “Then, when I got into middle school, what really hit it off was Mrs. Carey Ivory. She really helped me see all the different types of technology and taught me how to code, and that’s really what got me into technology.”
FBLA and Cybercorps aren’t the only extracurricular Blackhurst is involved in, though. This year will be his third year of yearbook and second year of journalism. Blackhurst also balances work and a social life on top of his school activities.
However, Blackhurst’s favorite high school memory hasn’t come from FBLA or SBO, but from peer tutoring.
“For prom a group of kids and I asked some of the special ed students and we went to prom with them and that was really fun,” Blackhurst said. “I took Anna King. That was probably one of my favorite memories from high school.”
Since his sophomore year, Blackhurst has enjoyed being a part of the peer tutor class.
“I have an aunt who has special needs so being around her since I was little I’ve come to really like the kids that have disabilities,” Blackhurst said. “I like learning how to work with them so my sophomore year I decided to join peer tutor and I love working with the kids.”
Balanced with his already full schedule, Blackhurst has been working since he was twelve, beginning by working with his dad, installing irrigation pivots. Recently he has been employed at Cavalier Pizza then Main Street Pizza.
“When I first started working with my dad I was like, this is terrible,” Blackhurst said. This is not going to help me with my future. Why am I doing this? But I realize now that if I hadn’t learned how to work I wouldn’t be where I am today.”